Friday, October 31, 2008

Wishing all you girls and guisers

a guid hallowe'en and a few drunk boo's!

Also a wee bit social commentary for early this Friday morn. The BBC is not a better place this morning for Lesley Douglas the controller resigning over the actions of these two twonks. She was an arbiter of quality (in the main) and one of the people who reinvented Radio 2. It's an honourable thing that she's done but spiritually it's a hell of a price for the corporation to pay in the current climate. A bit "serious" for this time of the day, I know, but it's an undeniable fact.

OK, time I was gone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've sort of had it with lists, charts and the like. Polls too. None of it really means shit other than what those who stand to gain want it to mean. I appreciate seeing people I like make it on to these things. Sure I do. It may make the saddoes that follow such things check something out that they wouldn't ordinarily. May...

Where these things really come into their own is when they're rigged for whatever reason. Anyway, this is a long way around to getting to something that has interested me for a while now. Only having 100 albums. Fuck having truckloads of stuff gathered on files from the internet or even a huge tactile music collection in the form of records, tapes and cds. If you wanted something new then something would have to go. I float this as a concept to justify letting go of stuff that is frankly choking me. I've mentioned this before but I don't think I've ever been closer to pulling the plug. Of course, it's unlikely that I'll have the bottle to go beyond that but one should never say never.

Afore I close, Paul Bridges has rightfully reminded me that it's 40 years since "Kick out The Jams" was recorded. Happy Zenta everybody!

I was going to post the Roky Halloween stuff and lo and behold J already did it. That's service. A reminder then that Seattle will be the place to be as two generations of Tacoma cool come together to bring an almighty racket to the environs of the Paramount Theatre. I imagine that it's totally sold out by now but this is a top bill by any standards.

With regard to the Wooden Shjips this coming Sunday in Glasgow, I believe that doors will be 9pm and that the band is due onstage at Nice and Sleazy around 10.30/11pm. I've seldom known a show to run to schedule there but I imagine that's as close to a timetable as we're likely to get. I'll investigate ticket price, etc today and let you know if I find out anything. my guess would be a tenner.

No frost this morning, as far as I can tell...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We've been talking up the coming-together of our very own The Black Angels and psych-legend Roky Erickson (of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators) for weeks now, but tonight their four-date West Coast tour finally kicks off. For those of you not in the know, The Black Angels will open for Roky Erickson each night before taking a brief break and then RETURNING to the stage to act as the rhythm section for one of their greatest influences. This is truly a rare, and sure to be amazing collaboration between two of the great psych-rock bands of the last thirty years. Not to be missed!

Tour Dates:

Wednesday, October 29th - Portland, OR, The Wonder Ballroom

Friday, October 31st - Los Angeles, CA, El Rey

Saturday, November 1st - San Francisco, CA, The Great American Music Hall

Sunday, November 2nd - San Francisco, CA, The Great American Music Hall
Hurrah, went for almost three days without a problem with receiving e-mail. Could be something of a record. Or should that be cd? or maybe even a download?? Anyway, there's a problem again so who knows what the chuff is going on. I've given up even bothering now. All our thoughts have to be with those two dolts from the BBC that have been suspended. Actually, I don't mind Wossy. He's disappeared up his own back end in recent times but he's a harmless numpty. The other one is completely and utterly useless. A charmless symptom of our times. I heard him being justified as a liability this morning. If only he had that much talent. There are earthquakes, financial meltdowns and Presidential infomercials on the go but these two have got top billing here in the U of K. Anybody having problems viewing images here? They appear fine on some computers and not at all on others. Yet another irritation in the ongoing wearing down process. Looking for something to do this Hallowe'en?

In Glasgow... (I thought the third band on the bill was Thee Phantom Heid)

In Madrid...

And don't forget, Eric and Amy kick off their UK tour tomorrow night so check out your local listings and make an effort to catch them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This morning saw the first frost of the descent into winter. It got to be a bright, blue cold day and in many ways my perfect weather. Too bad there was no time to be spent actually out in it until way too late. Wasn't aware of the US term "buy-out" as being the same as redundancy until I saw Season Five of The Wire. Never did the two plus two to equal four. Generally that would mean takeover here I think. So near, yet so far. And no "fanny" quips from you folks in the cheap seats either... Whatever goes down in the Yoo-ess of A next Tuesday, there are dimly-lit days ahead for sure.

I always remember being in Stockholm one November and it was brighter and bluer than I recall anywhere being and it snowed all the way to the airport. Anyway, that city is hosting two very different but related exhibits over the next wee while. I imagine that if you stay there you might well know about them. However, there's always a chance that you don't so here goes.

Robert (100% pot success) Johnson has curated a Record Store Bag exhibition that's taking place at the city's finest music emporium Pet Sounds right now.

In a gallery of a different sort, Johan Ödmann has his amazing pictures on show at the address on the flyer below. I'm trying to get an English blurb, but locals will dig the gist...

And while we're talking about that fine Swedish city, check out the Pitchfork report (with photos) from the Hello Saferide showcase in NY last week.

That's your lot for this evening. Chores are beckoning. I'm not saying I'll attend to any of them but who knows...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crisis? Well, if you ask me, the only way to keep things afloat is to spend, spend, spend.

So, while you're off loading up goods for the common 'cause, I'd like to suggest the following items for your shopping list:

The Olivetti Chronicals rounds up a truckload of material as written by John Peel over the years for various magazines. Suffice to say it's a mandatory purchase, as Peel's way with words wasn't confined to radio only. In print he was equally informed and funny. And my only complaint about this book is that it doesn't include all of his writings...

Coincidence or no, but while reading this book I was listening to a new Undertones 2CD compilation. And before you shrug your shoulders in a "What's new?" gesture, lemme explain that while disc 1 features the familiar, but still stellar stuff we all know and love; disc 2 is all previously unreleased demo and live goodies that 'll make you wet your pants... The crude, crude demo of "I Don't Wanna See You Again" alone, will keep me happy for weeks to come! Fantabulous liner notes by Michael Bradley add up to another must have...

Finally, there's the deluxe editions of the first three Buzzcocks albums... I know Lindsay doesn't rate 'em, but what the heck. I sure like this stuff. Offered with a massive amount of previously unreleased wares, these are the final word on this subject. Liners by Jon Savage, what more could you want?
Black Diamond Heavies, Wilson Tan and The Brutes @ Mono this coming Thursday...
I had an odd dream last night (and I seldom dream). Can't remember too much about it but it involved going to see The Cramps and they'd gone all old school Bollywood. Lux and Ivy plus a sitar player and less than conventional percussion set up. Very cool as my vague recollection serves. Anyway, that was soon flushed away by the daily deluge of "you're fucked" messages.

Turn on the radio the subtext is doom. Look at the news and gloom abounds. By the time I get out the door, I wonder if it's worth the effort being very much entrenched in the half empty camp in the first instance as you know. Actually, the overriding message is that we're all fucked, that's the royal we - you, me and everybody so we might as well get used to it. What? You are? Good. Latest is that its maybe a good idea to go and take a big loan out to spend your way out of the downward trajectory. I like the sound of that but reckonn that the bank won't wear it.

They can't take our spiritual wealth away from us though can they? Maybe not but they'll have a damn good shot at it. As the Obama hype plays out in the US, all the positivism, all the good vibes, all the hope might just get humped when the cheats start to work the room. Not outwith the bounds of possibility now, is it?

All very sobering for the day after the clocks went back. By the time they go forward again, the world will be an altogether different place. Maybes.

Now that winter is here, visitor numbers seem to be up again. Always a good thing to see that people are dropping by and hopefully being directed toward stuff that'll hit the spot. And more often than not, you don't even have to leave the house. Gig thumbs up for we shut-ins.

The more time I spend in front of a computer for work, the less likely I'll come home and rattle up another couple of hours. This is becoming something of an issue with keeping this thing as fresh as I'd like it to be but we'll see how that particular cookie crumbles. It's not as if I have an actual life to be getting in about although there is the odd moment.

People have asked why I don't have mp3's available for download or why isn't there a "player" on the blog. Essentially because I don't have the time and furthermore, I prefer to direct folks to either the artists website or to places that do that kind of thing way better than I would or could.

Who knows, maybe down the road apiece but don't even consider holding yr breath.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

There's a poster for the projected Wooden Shjips Scottish debut now so I guess by the scale of the drip feed, we might find out what time the gig (a week from today) starts by Friday.
Or am I just being uncharacteristically optimistic?
No smartass comments about coming up the Clyde in a banana boat please....
Brijitte West in London this coming Wednesday 29th October...
Ooh la la, ici some punque psychedelique… it’s all on the debut 45 “Young Virgin EP” by Bordeaux, France rockers Polar Strong.
Polar Strong is part of a healthy and strong new French rock scene, which has already brought us such upstarts as Volt, Magnetix, Cheveu, Fatals, Feeling of Love, Crusaders of Love, Dave, Complications and so on. The 4-song EP contains three self-penned crunchers plus “Platform Blues” the first Bassholes cover ever ! (that is, according to Don Howland himself). Recorded, mixed and whatever by Lo' Spider at his infamous Boogaloo Studios. Hey,and guess what, it’s on white vinyl !
Hand silkscreened cover in three colours on brown cardboard hand numbered with inlay-sheet. Check out one of their songs on . Also check out our site’s pictures page to see Don’s reaction before and after hearing this thing!!!

While we're on the subject of France, the latest issue of Dig It! is available now. #44 continues the continually stellar standard that they set themselves over the years. It's a testament to Gilda's and Co's contribution to pushing the finest rock'n'roll available.

Long may it continue. It's all in French and even although you don't speak da lingo, you'll feel the love.
Talk about a sense of achievement... it's not even noon and I've made a start on cleaning up this dump for the arrival of some esteemed houseguests in the not too distant future. Small potatoes really but you wouldn't believe just how long I've been putting this one particular aspect off.

All the clocks are set, five minutes fast as always. So in this industrious mode, theres a pile of cds eyeing me from the floor. Maybe I'll check a couple out while I get the ironing together?

Did you see that Spector thing last night? Jings, it was equal parts compulsive and excruciating. And I'm not even talking about the over emphasis on The Beatles/Lennon on the music front. What a weird little guy and what's with his Dylan obsession? For my money, the Zim hasn't come anywhere near creating something like this...

So time to press on, although I'm pretty sure it's all downhill from here.
Hey gurls & ghouls!

Rubber Biscuit returns to Bristol's best free house and venue, The Thunderbolt, on Friday October 31st for its FREE Halloween Special, entitled Trick and Treat!

Expect a ghoulish selection of top vinyl 45s, inna Halloween stylee, including such selections as Screamin' Lord Sutch's "All Black and Hairy", The Frantics' "Werewolf" and, who could forget, plenty of Bobby 'Boris' Pickett's "Monster Mash"-ish classics! Yeah!

Children will be most welcome in The Thunderbolt's landscaped garden until 10pm, where Love Food will be hosting a Halloween BBQ and laying on some kool-i-o fun frolics for young 'uns and oldsters alike, including face painting, apple bobbing, jack-o-lanterns and even a fire juggler!

So for a way-hep rock'n'roll Halloween, head to Rubber Biscuit's Trick and Treat at The Thunderbolt! Dancing 'til the clock strikes 12... hairy hands optional...

Rubber Biscuit Halloween Special – Trick and Treat, The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Bristol

Friday October 31st 8pm-midnite FREE

Rubber Biscuit bio: 2 guys, 22 years of DJing, 80 years of great music, 1,000s of 45s, 100,000 satisfied customers - What you got? RUBBER BISCUIT

They buy their hats from the same guy as Elvis, caused the MC5 to reform, earned Ray Davies' money (twice), knocked Ron Asheton down the stairs (by accident!), picked covers for The Detroit Cobras, got stood up by Alex Chilton, were fed cigarillos by Dr John, told the NME and Kerrang! to f-off, and got married at Sun Studios (one just watched)...

Steptoe and BigKegShandy play music by people from many lands and decades, all of whom know the magic formula which causes backbones to slip, hips to gyrate, elbows to flap and ears to dance on the sides of heads.

Since 1985, they have played the wonderful musics that have been called rock'n'roll, soul, funk, R&B, punk, ska, garage, calypso, boogaloo, voodoo, country, gospel, blues, rockabilly, disco, roots, psychedelia, pub rock, folk-rock, frat rock, glam rock, Dutch beat, high energy, really f-ing stoopid or just plain FUN.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

US visitors are reminded that "The World's Greatest Sinner" is on TCM tonight.
Check listings for time details.

Rezillos single, video, tour, management and website... all NEW!

Read about it all in Jo Callis' latest newsletter.

The October 2008 edition of Tally Ho! is available now!

Don't miss the tour dates and early-warning on how you
can help our heroes back into the charts this November...
The deadline for submissions to the Glasgow Film Festival is Friday, October 31st.

If you have something you'd like to screen there then give them a holler.
Hank Williams -
A Celebration Featuring
The Parsonage and Guests
@ Glasgow University Union, 32 University Avenue, Glasgow, Scotland G12 Cost: £6

Hank Williams tribute fundraiser featuring an eclectic and impressive array of local musicians. Children welcome and free entry. Home baking, tea and coffee to warm this winter day as well as licensed bar.

Finishes 7.00pm. Funds raised for donation to Scottish Spina Bifida Association and Glasgow Women’s Aid Children’s Fund.

Jeremy Gluck's new band The Yohawks will be playing the famous Worlds End public house in Camden Town, London on November 16th.

Located at 174 Camden High Street, the Bucketfull of Brains bunch will present The Yohawks, and Robert Coyne, a former Barracuda, accomplished solo artist and son of the late and legendary Kevin Coyne. Rumour has it that Chris Wilson of Groovies fame may also pay a visit.

The Yohawks will be playing some of Jeremy's back catalogue, both from The Barracudas and otherwise, and knocking out new material such as forthcoming single "Sally Suicide".

It's an early show. Call 0207 482 1932 for info.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not sure if the e-mail thing is totally rectified or not. There's been a sort of drip delivery over the course of a day. I know I have trouble receiving from aol, comhem and earthlink to name but three. Confidence in the basic business structure is pretty low, it's been in recession for a while much like everything else but hey, the clocks go back this weekend. We have one hour more away from the leg irons of the workplace, what will you do with your additional 60 minutes?

It's time to go a bit insane but frankly I don't have energy or the sheckels but I do know that a lot of you folks are Larry David fans so check this out.

And here is some important information...

There's an analogy about a piss up and a brewery that's not unlike the ongoing bollocks surrounding Wooden Shjips upcoming Glasgow show on November 2nd.

This is no longer happening at Sloans but will go ahead at Nice and Sleazy on that date but after Shellac play just along the road. In an ideal world, someone would have the sense to pair them up and have the Shjips open but y'know how those things go. It would make too fucking much sense.

Anyway, as soon as I find out the time, ticket price, etc. then I'll let you know. Despite the inefficiency of the operation you should really cut along.

Tonight, The Crypt Kicker V are playing at The Hellacopters party in Stockholm. After this weekend it's all over. The band will cease to exist. Finito. However, it was primo fun while it lasted.

Doubtful I'll be back on here tonight but you never know. It's Friday night, time to kick back and... no, sorry it actually reads snib the door and make for the couch. The final episode of The Wire beckons.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Been trying to find a link to Billy and Miriam's Rudy Ray Moore tributes but they don't seem to be on the Norton site yet. A fine send off indeed, delivered as only those two can supply.

God knows what's happening with this e-mail carry on, apparently it's a "national" problem... that doesn't make it any more acceptable. I've been editing tripe all day so my time on here tonight will be brief.

Mr Hammer tells me that the HS show in Manhattan yesterday evening went great. Good news so let's leave things on an upbeat note.

Friday can't come quick enough, let me tell you...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My bloody ISP is gubbed again today so if you sent me an e-mail then who knows exactly where in the ether it is. Not me.

Saw the Pistols "There'll Always Be An England" last night. Having heard that it was worth watching, I put it on my Lovefilm list and it arrived before the final episode of The Wire. Not an ideal situation but I'll let that slide. Filmed over several nights at Brixton (Carling) Academy, the concert part is reasonable to bloody awful. Lydon appeared to be having a gurning contest with the audience but his "Wilfrid Brambell" sealed the deal. There were flashes of Lee Evans doing Charles Laughton too, and they say country music isn't pretty.

Even in the wildest reaches of "ever get the feeling you've been cheated" they could never have expected it all to turn out like this. But it's all about pantomime and while I'm happy to see the, er, "kids" having fun then I'll just sit this one out. Some of it is pretty embarrassing but I'll leave you to figure it out. The guide to London by the band was entertaining though and Jones is equal parts Peter Cook and Harry H Corbett.

Should you see it? Probably, if you're interested. Considering the "songbook", there was this band that played in Spain a couple or three weeks ago that for my money (the value of which is plummeting as I type) stands up way better. Johnny Lydon has just turned up on TV here doing a butter ad. Let's face it, he was never a singer anyway was he?

So anyway, I'm off into Edinburgh to rendezvous with Mr Thewlis for a wee while... depending on where you find yourself, you may like to consider the following.

For those in Glasgow who have an itch to scratch in terms of appearing in a pop video...

"Glasgow's Attic Lights are looking for extras to be in the audience for a video shoot for their new single "Late Night Sunshine". If you are over 18 and fancy coming along to listen to the same song for a few hours and to meet the band, head for Stereo, Renfield Lane, Glasgow at 6.30pm on Thur 23rd Oct. This would be a great opportunity to get your copy of their debut album "Friday Night Lights" signed by the band."

If you're in NY then there's only one one game in town tonight...

If you're in Barcelona there's a groovy music film festival starting tomorrow that includes a screening of "The Wrecking Crew". In-Edit Beefeater (I've no idea what that refers to) runs from October 23rd until November 2nd.

I'm sure there was something else I meant to run by you but that particular morsel eludes me for now.

RIP - Dee Dee Warwick

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If you find yourself in Springfield, Mo...

Oh well. Be there and see 4 great musicians and one struggling wise ass do what they do best.

AND... don't forget the Maxwells CD release party at Harlow's (where else?)
Saturday, 10/25.

RIP - Rudy Ray Moore

Monday, October 20, 2008

I should really go out and get some stuff from the supermarket but can't be arsed. There'll be a torrent of cursing in the morning but the spirit, the flesh and all the other sprites are conspiring agin my better judgement.

Just added the new Matt and Kim video there for your viewing pleasure. They were nearly in the UK touring with CSS around now but circumstances didnae prevail. What can I tell you...? When the album comes out in January it may become clearer when they'll be back.

Still no concrete word on the Wooden Shjips but as far as the scoop from the pavie goes - the game is on at Sloans on November 2nd.

Not really in the frame of mind to spout off tonight and could well have fallen asleep infront of the TV by around the 8.30pm mark. Awaiting word that Lennart P's site has gone live and I also need to make sure that my column for OX is sorted prior to the deadline this time out. Tonight's most likely course of action is loaded on the side of being planked on the sofa though. I imagine that I'll be on this side of antsy until my final fix of Baltimore later in the week.

I will do the dishes before I crash. Promise.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A wee bit of NY culture for a (bloody wet here in Scotia) Sunday afternoon courtesy of the very Rev. Jon Hammer.
Suicide in The Jewish Chronicle (thanks Martin)
Just one more episode of the fifth and final season of The Wire to go. It's inspirational, compulsive and devastating in equal measures. I have some idea of how it all goes down but wonder if a TV show could ever match these heights again. Difficult to figure it. Lots of cool little surprises and shocks. I know that a lot of folks that drop by here are fans so I won't jabber any further. I need a little pick me up after all that so I'm gonna put on The Yum Yums and spill "live".

The new album "... Whatever Rhymes With Baby" is out on fab Spanish imprint Wild Punk. I believe that it'll also be released in their native Norway soon too. Anyway, there are 12 songs here of a calibre that could quite literally be issued as 6 double A side 45's. Plotting a path somewhere between Screeching Weasel and The Ohio Express, the sheer good-natured wall of ramonic pop will instantly pluck all the necessary heartstrings. The real not so secret weapon that pushes it all over the edge is the farfisa providing an overall crunch that's both mighty and familiar. It's true, you'll have heard stuff that sounds like this before, just perhaps not performed with so much gusto.

"I Wanna Be The One" sets out the stall and from there it just pummels through. "Sugar Rush" might have been a better title for the album because that's what it'll give you. Like eating a whole punnet of sherbet strawberries, you'll be bouncing off the walls. grinning like a fool. This here is a well-oiled machine with nary a hair out of place. "Let's Rock'n'Roll" is Slade duelling with The Barracudas while Sator pick up the pieces. Another one of those numbers for those of us that wish Sgt Poopydrawers never taught the band to play.

The Yum Yums may well be taking these hymns to the street by way of promoting this fine "record" so watch out for that. This is an album for kids of all ages and in terms of a mood lifter, they don't come much more potent than this. It sounds like they had a riot making it and that kind of thing is infectious.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

OK, time to play catch up on stuff coming up in all corners of the earth. Pay attention, your own actual backyard may be implicated.

An amazing bill for Thank You For The Music @ Debaser Slussen in Stockholm (25th October) (Sorry Kjell...)

Download the reanimated New Math’s “Garden of Delight” recorded to celebrate a show to celebrate Scorgies in Rochester on November 21st. No KP but with a new vocalist by the name of Johnny Cummings (!) They sound like they mean business, psychedelically pspeaking.

“Audrey sings Nico” has been put together to celebrate the work of this unique artist in what would have been her 70th year on earth. Audrey Redpath is one of the greatest singers you never heard and you can catch this in Glasgow at King Tut’s (with Laki Mera and Paul Haig) on October 30th and also in Edinburgh (with St Judes Infirmary and Eagleowl) at The Voodoo Rooms on November 14th.

Eric “Roscoe” Ambel has been recording Ellen Foley (!)

Jean Encoule can now be found at Mudkiss

Lux Interior is Rayo X (link via Staysick)

Crummy Stuff shows in Canada... (thanks Rob)

Sunday, October 19...Memorial Park Oshawa...
Saturday, October 25...The Atria, Oshawa...
Friday, November 21...The Horseshoe, Toronto... w/The FLESHTONES...

And on that same, NBT favourites The Boonaraaas!!! are at Dirty Water and on the 22nd they'll be tearing up The Corn Rocket Club. All going to plan, I'll see you there.
RIP - Levi Stubbs


Wednesday, October 22
@ Bowery Electric, NYC

(326 Bowery @ 2nd)

Firefox AK


Hello Saferide

FREE entry
, $4 drink specials

Friday, October 17, 2008

Norton Records... Mid-October News Flash!

Autumn Almanac * New Releases *
True Confessions • In The Grapevine • Big Break Ballyhoo!

Our perfect world continues to shape up as we reach peak mayhem here at Nortonville! Dig, if you will ...MAD MIKE MANIA! Yes, kids, all three volumes of MAD MIKE MONSTERS are out now on posh gatefold LP and handy dandy CD, so latch on! The big blast off at Pittsburgh's palacial Pietro's Pizza this past weekend pulled scads of local fans, pals and biz-wigs out of the woodwork to trib the early years (1964-67) of the late and legendary local disc jockey who changed the world for the much wilder for all of us loud sound hounds! One night hanging out with the original 60's Mad Mike RAT PACK (and Norton-type celebs like the drummer for Pat and the Satellites of Jupiter C fame!) was like two weeks at a Slovenian Slop juvenile delinquent training camp, and that's the highest praise ever compounded from his maven! Can we do it again, like soon? Dig all the scoops and links on Mad Mike further down this newsletter....

Thursday, Oct 16th, 8pm - 11pm

WFMU Calvalcade of Stars Live Remote from the Tip Top!Music to Spazz By with Dave the Spazz comes live and wild from scenic Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn as WFMU rock & roll/rock & soul radio stars Gaylord Fields, future married lady Debbie D, Rex, Mr. Finewine, Michael Shelley and Todd-o-Phonic Todd join Spazz battle for turntable supremacy! There'll be free FMU swag, raucous musical monkeyshines, a Cornish game hen raffle plus other surprises! The Tip Top Bar & Grill is located at 432 Franklin Avenue (two blocks from the Franklin Avenue C stop). This will be a live radio event not to be missed either in person or on the airwaves!

Friday, Oct 24-Sunday Oct 26 - WFMU Record Fair, NYC

The big one wraps up the year with the wildest wax weekender yet! Pick up the wildest wax and all sorts of musical masterpieces at the big town's biggest record roundup. Live broadcasts all weekend long include the on-air wedding of Boss lady deejay Debbie D to her one and only Jimmy boy during Rex's radio show! As for Nortonville, come by for a big shellac attack and dig tons of wild and tuff-to-git records at our sprawling set up! All the new releases will BE THERE, including advance copies of our upcoming singles!

Friday Oct 24 - THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER on TCM Underground

Turner Classic Movies presents the world television debut of the mesmeric and magnificent Timothy Carey's brain-spraining 1962 film in all its rockin' rollin glory! Do not miss. If you are seeing it for the first time get ready to readjust your horizontal!! Top rank, all the way. Best rock n roll scene of any film! Dig the scene where Carey is digging the wild antics of a blonde haired rock n' roll kid going mental on stage at the 5/4 Ballroom. This is the fabled hot spot name checked in Eddie Cochran's Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie - "All the cats are hoppin' at the big 5/4..."

Saturday, Oct 25 - Check local listings. Looks to be 2 AM EST but confirm or be lost!

Saturday Oct 25 - DMZ @ Maxwell's, Hoboken

Holy mackerel! Dig the original lineup (Jeff Conolly, Peter Greenberg, J.J. Rassler, Rick Corracio and Paul Murphy) in their first area show in 30 years! What a weekend!


From the press releases "CHILLLLLLER THEATRE RETURNS FROM THE DEAD! For the first time in over 25 years, Chiller Theatre is back on WPIX with the presentation of the 1955 pulp horror classic Tarantula at 8 pm on Saturday, October 25th. Zacherley “The Cool Ghoul” (John Zacherle) and former host of Chiller Theatre in New York on WPIX (1963) will resurrect his alter-ego and host WPIX’s October 25 special. Plus, the original opens: “The Six-Fingered Hand” and the “Monster Montage” along with Tarantula trivia will run as interstitials." Tune in before you head for Maxwell's! Billy grew up on a steady diet of Zach and CHILLER THEATRE and recalls having to be walked three doors home after a frightening viewing of THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON.

Wednesday, Oct 29 - DEX ROMWEBER DUO @ Maxwell's, Hoboken

You loved the Flat Duo Jets with Dex and Crow, now dig Dex blasting off with his incredible sis Sara at the traps!

Friday, Oct 31 - SONICS Paramount Theatre, Seattle

Holy moly! The local boys get their day on Halloween, naturally! Few tix remain so go git 'em. Tacoma terrors Girl Trouble featuring big beat sensation Miss BON will open this legendary show!

Hey, be sure to check out this insane footage of the Sonics in Scandinavia!!


Brooklyn Three way face off under the BQE with the boro's top noise makers!

Saturday, Nov 22 - MARY WEISS/REIGNING SOUND @ The Earl, Atlanta GA

Double whammy jammy deluxe at the home of the best cole slaw on the planet …congratulations to Mary on the Shangri-Las induction to the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame!


CHANTS R&B (Norton 335) Fifteen raving 1966 blasts from New Zealand’s wildest combo! This vinyl only set features one side of mauling studio recordings (Neighbour Neighbour/I’m Your Witchdoctor) and one side with their legendary live Stage Door recordings (That’s The Way It’s Gotta Be/Don’t Bring Me Down). Thrill to extensive liner notes by the band and a knockout photo filled package, not to the most deranged version of Land Of 1000 Dances ever recorded! LP only

MAD MIKE MONSTERS VOL. 1-2-3 (Norton 338/339/340) The wildest 45’s discovered and popularized by enigmatic Pittsburgh hoo-doo DJ during his primo prime years 1964-67, compiled into three sets of instant party mashers! Massive gatefold LPs tell the story of the Mad One in his own words, complete with tons of memories from his many local fans, while the CD packs deliver the same in a pocket-size format! Absolutely staggering array of sounds from this Norton icon! Includes Scott Wood Chicken Rock, Count Ferrell Wizard Of Ah’s, the Saxons Camel Walk and the Vels Mysterious Teenage! All sizzle, no gristle! LP/CD


JOHNNY AND THE SILVERTONES – ROCK ‘TIL THE END OF TIME/I’VE GOT A WOMAN (45-144) Blood curdling unissued 1963 R&B booze savagery! The Figures of Light It's Lame was the Monster Of The Year for 2006, CJ and the Casuals’ Study Hall was the Monster of the Year for 2007– all hail the new champ! This recently unearthed Ohio acetate is over the top WILD!!! Dig these lyrics, dad – “I wanna cash my check at the liquor store/Crawl into that barroom door/Goin’ to the bar get me a jug of wine...” Savage guitars, pounding drums, this is IT!!!! For fans of Screamin’ Joe Neal!!!

FLYIN’ SAUCER TWIST: THE NORTHWAY SOUND RECORDS STORY VOL. ONE (EP-145) Four rockin’ 1961-62 guitar instrumentals from rural Michigan's answer to Gaity Records! Tom Carter and the Ramrods Flyin’ Saucer Twist/Twistin’ Boogie, Jerry Lee Trio Banshee, Billy Lee and the Ramblers Trav’lin – cool stuff!

TOM AND THE TORNADOES: THE NORTHWAY SOUND RECORDS STORY VOL. TWO (45-146) Tommy James’ first record Long Pony Tail/Judy – 1962! Pre-Hanky Panky raw rock n’ roll! Includes amazing pics of the Tornadoes plus the story in Tommy’s words!

KING KHAN – IT’S A LIE/CONGRATULATIONS I’M SORRY (45-148) Khantagious new set from His Majesty pairs two originals, a deadly snarler plus a tense, brooding instro flip! King on all instruments! First there was King Uszniewicz, then King Coleman… now King Khan! We bow deeply to the three Kings of Norton!

FIGURES OF LIGHT OUT NOW!FIGURES OF LIGHT - SMASH HITS (Norton 336) Gimme Gimme Gimme / Black Cadillac / Seething Psychosexual Conflict Blues / Nothing To Do / I’m So Sick Of Everything / Why Not Knock Yourself Off? / Angeline / I Got Spies Watching You / Gimme Gimme Gimme / Nothing To Do / It’s Lame / I’m So Sick Of Everything / It’s Lame / I Jes Wanna Go To Bed / Ritual TV Smashing Finale / Velvet Touch They came and combusted as teenagers thirty years ago, now they’re back to retake the two-chord monte in SPADES! Wheeler Winston Dixon wails while Michael Downey cranks up the proto-punk x-factor on this snarling set including their alarmingly faboo first single, newly unearthed live recordings from their first show ever in July, 1970, unheard demos and new NYC live and studio recordings. Essential!


Norton is very proud to present three full volumes of Charlie Feathers with rare and unissued performances spanning his entire career. This series has been much anticipated by rockabilly fans worldwide and the wait is over! Each set features liner notes by Mike Hurtt including interviews with Charlie’s family, friends and fellow musicians as well as unbelievable photos. Many rare titles are offered from master tapes for the first time since their initial release.


Charlie Feathers is the main reason there is and was Sun Records. I will always be a Charlie Feathers fan." - Johnny Cash

CHARLIE FEATHERS - WILD SIDE OF LIFE (Norton 332) Wild Side Of Life*/One More Time*/We’re Getting Closer To Being Apart*/Am I That Easy To Forget*/Pardon Me Mister*/Cockroach/I Want To Love You*/Wedding Gown Of White (1973 version)/Dig Myself A Hole*/’Cause I Love You*/Frankie And Johnny*/Mound Of Clay/Why Pretend*/I Forgot To Remember To Forget/Man In Love/Folsom Prison Blues CD adds… Release Me (with Junior Kimbrough)/Charlie Feathers Interview Part One

CHARLIE FEATHERS - HONKY TONK KIND (Norton 333) One Good Gal/Give Back All The Love You Gave*/Honky Tonk Kind*/I Can’t Seem To Remember To Forget*/If You Were Mine To Lose/I Lose My Mind*/Folsom Prison Blues*/We’re Getting Closer To Being Apart*/You Believe Everyone But Me/I Want To Love You*/Send Me The Pillow You Dream On/Cold Cold Heart*/Dinky John/Two To Choose/Dig Myself A Hole CD adds Feel Good Again (with Junior Kimbrough)/Charlie Feathers Interview Part Two

CHARLIE FEATHERS - LONG TIME AGO (Norton 334) Jungle Fever/Frankie And Johnny*/She’s Gone*/That’s All Right/It’s Just That Song/Why Don’t You/Knoxville Girl/I Lose My Mind*/Jungle Fever/Long Time Ago*/I Want To Love You*/Will You Be Satisfied That Way*/Folsom Prison Blues/We’re Getting Closer To Being Apart*/South Of Chicago/Mound Of Clay CD adds Lonesome Whistle/Charlie Feathers Interview Part Three *=previously unissued


ROKY ERICKSON AND THE EXPLOSIVES – HALLOWEEN: RECORDED LIVE 1979-81 (Norton 337) Two Headed Dog/Don’t Shake Me Lucifer/Bermuda/The Wind And More/Starry Eyes/I Walked With A Zombie/Stand For The Fire Demon/Bloody Hammer/Wait For You/Wake Up To Rock And Roll/You’re Gonna Miss Me/Creature With The Atom Brain/I Think Up Demons/The Beast/I’ve Just Seen A Face/The Interpreter/White Faces/KLBJ Radio Ad This howling live set from Roky and the Explosives’ original incarnation moves from horror classics (Creature With The Atom Brain), to Buddy Holly inspired rockers (Wait For You) to a blistering version of the Elevators’ You’re Gonna Miss Me. Norton’s gatefold double LP comes with a different cover than the CD version and on the preferred miracle PVC format!


CHARLIE FEATHERS - WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO BEING APART/IF YOU WERE MINE TO LOSE (Norton 45-142) Two more powerful rockabilly offerings from the master! To be followed up by THREE big albums of rare and unreleased Charlie Feathers demos. Sorry for the long wait - we can't hardly stand it ourselves!

ROKY ERICKSON AND THE EXPLOSIVES – WAIT FOR YOU/I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE (Norton 45-143) Roky tears it up on a rousing Buddy Holly inspired original and delivers a wild one-off version of the Fabs classic on the flip! Both decks from Roky’s live Norton double LP HALLOWEEN.

THE BO-KEYS - CONGRATULATIONS/ROYAL PENDLETONS - TELL ME (Norton 45-9659) Our popular Rolling Stones 45 cover series continues with our 19th nervous breakdown, yes the 19th single in the series! This double dip of slow drag burners showcases the Mad Lads lead singer John Gary Williams teaming up with Memphis soul sensations the Bo-Keys on the terrific topside, while Southern slop lords the Royal Pendletons tell us they're coming back to us in grand style!


THE DICTATORS - MANIFEST DESTINY (Norton/Asylum 1109) Vinyl reissue of their 1977 Asylum platter comes complete with original cover and incredible Andy Shernoff anthems like Science Gone Too Far, Exposed, Heartache, Young, Fast, Scientific and mo'! Complete your Dictators footlong collection!

IN THE WORKS...I STILL HATE CDs Coming this fall, 45 more singles from the vaults of Norton Records. This release, like the first set, is download only and is available from all download outlets – no Goodwill or yard sale action this time, sorry. But it is cheap and easy to grab these babies. By the way, there were some comments that folks wished we provided cover art and notes. If you pick up volume one from I-tunes, it comes with a detailed booklet!

GARAGE ACETATES We are in the midst of whipping up four LPs worth of unissued sixties acetates including three chord killers from the Blue Embers, Henchmen, Khuns, Thorns and Creation’s Disciple! Utter mayhem!

MAD MIKE HAPPENINGS THAT ARE ARCHIVED, KINDA MOSTLY!SATURDAY SEPT. 27 MAD MIKE MONSTERS - WFMU RADIO SPECIAL 1-3 PM EST Rex at the Fools Paradise show hosts a two hour sneak peak at our upcoming MAD MIKE MONSTERS series, dedicated to the music of legendary Pittsburgh DJ Mad Mike, the cat who made Camel Walk, Hanky Panky, Goo Goo Muck and Psycho the hits they are today, forty years ago! Mad Mike Maven Miriam Linna will blast Mad Mike exclusives and preview the inaugural MONSTERS volumes, slated for Oct 7 release. The program will be archived at WFMU.ORG/FPWRFRIDAY OCT 10 MAD MIKE MONSTERS - WRCT PITTSBURGH RADIO SNEAK PREVIEW 10 AM-2PM Zombo's Record Party starts us all off on the mad track giving all you teenagers a sneak peak at MAD MIKE MONSTERS on his wild and wooly lunchbox melange of mayhem! Locals dial your dashboards in to 88.3 FM, worldwiders tune in to! Drivers, kindly pull to the curb. We cannot be responsible for traffic violations caused by listening!

SAT. OCTOBER 11 MAD MIKE MONSTERS - WRCT SATURDAY LIGHT BRIGADE CALL-IN BALLYHOO SPOT! Get ready good and early as the Norton staffers pull over on Route 80 enroute to Pittsburgh to enjoy some hot coffee and rev up Mad Mike style with Jeff Baron and his gallant crew at SLB! Slated for 10:35 AM, Miriam and Billy will fill you in with the evening's festivities celebrating the Mad, Mad World of Mad Mike Metrovich! Internet listeners, tap in to

SATURDAY OCTOBER 11 MAD MIKE MONSTERS - WYEP PITTSBURGH RADIO BLAST 6-7 PM! Howard pulls out all the stops for this mad show featuring music, quips and quotes from his friend Mad Mike. Howard is quoted in our MAD MIKE MONSTERS series and had the rare privilege of sharing the mike with the Mad One. Locals tune in to 91.3 FM while blazing a trail down to Pietros! Unlucky cellar dwellers elsewhere log onto and follow instructions for the Bumblebee Slim show with Howard Kozy!

SATURDAY OCTOBER 11 MAD MIKE MONSTERS! NORTON RECORDS RELEASE PARTY IN PITTSBURGH! 7 PM- Midnight Celebrate all things Mad Mike as three inaugural volumes of this sensational series blast off at the site of the late, great Mad One’s own radio studio, located at Pietro’s Pizza Pub at 2957 Banksville Road, Pittsburgh! Guest DJ’s will spin Mad Mike music exclusively, all night long! A great night for family, friends, fans… and pizza!

MAD MIKE MYSPACE! Semi-genius Howie Pyro, president of Mad Mike Maniacs, the California chapter of MMAS (Mad Mike Appreciation Society) has started up a tribute myspace page for Mad Mike! Check it out and also check out Senor Pyro at Intoxica Radio-- he was the first to trib Mad Mike and has a marvellous show!


The swank Swedish rock n’ roll mag Denimzine will be featuring a six page Norton Records blowout in the new ish due on the stands September 16 and will feature photos, interview with Norton honchos Billy and Miriam and swingin’ Swedes clocking in with their favorite Norton platters! Hurry up – you have less than two weeks to learn Swedish! Ya!

For More Nortonic Information:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

RIP - Frank Venom (Teenage Head)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

El compositor del primer grupo punk de Nueva York se mantiene gracias al vino español
I'm not sure how I made it through this past few days.

When the news hit that there would be no more Ringo signings, my proverbial world fell down. We may be two steps from sackcloth and ashes but this is surely the big one. I'm not sure where the centre of pillockdom lies exactly. Is it with the man himself who thinks anybody gives a fuck or is it with the media that's reporting it? And even worse, Madonna is getting a divorce. Hopefully it's not because her (soon to be ex) old man put The Scientists on the soundtrack of his recent movie instead of one of her's??

Maybe R. Starkey was just being nice, not wanting these sad bastards not to waste stamps.

To quote Judy Tenuta, in that foghorn voice, "It could happen". If Barbara Bach is reading this, give beardy a good hard foot up the arse. Didn't he piss on his chips already with that appearance in Liverpool recent(ish) anyway?

Anyway, here's some proper news - don't forget the Suzy & Los Quattro acoustic show tomorrow night in Barcelona if you're privileged to reside there.

Me? I'll just have to make do with a few more episodes of The Wire.
RIP - Neal Hefti

RIP - William Claxton

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wayne County in 1972...
Just a quick note to remind my friends in the NY area that Hello Saferide will be in town next week. Please try to see either the Manhattan or Brooklyn show. If you go to the Bowery Electric though you'll get the urge to go to Brooklyn anyway.

Check what works best for you and cut along to catch a bona fide tip for the stratosphere. Forget the zillion or so other CMJ bands that will be choking up the city. Vote Annika and Co!

Monday, October 13, 2008

RIP - Alton Ellis
The Hound on Robert Quine (Friday Oct 4th Entry)
Woke up this morning, found out I had a share in the banking industry but still don't have a pot to piss in if you pardon the terminology. Not sure how all that works but it's something of a rum do. But anyway, it's all very fragile and I'm sure it wouldn't take much to have it all collapse in a heap again.

Yesterday's screening of "That Sinking Feeling" at GFT was a resounding smash. The film stands up very well both as entertainment and as a document of Glasgow at the time. Almost none of the locations that it was shot in are around anymore. Difficult to believe that it's nearly 30 years old. Stuart Murdoch (of Belle and Sebastian) did a great informal chat/q&a thing after the movie with Rab Buchanan of the original Bill Forsyth alumnii. He's a genuinely charming wee guy as anybody who has met him at The Tolbooth in Stirling will tell you.

The trailblazing ways of what Forsyth did made it possible for Scotland to become a player in the movie industry through this film. Everything else to this point was of a "Play For Today" style, drama made for TV. The formula seems to have almost gone the opposite way again since then. Being that a lot of projects are made for TV distribution but have a limited cinema run. So anyway, see "That Sinking Feeling" if you can. I'd love to see it in other countries to see the reaction, it has all the qualities of a silent movie and is thusly multidimensional.

Nice to see a film star on the last train from Queen Street too. Keeping it real like he did in the films before so called reality became a homogenised commodity. I think I'll watch Gregory's Girl tonight just to keep the vibe going. Looking at the visitor locations today, there was one in particular that I reckon was someone who I'd really like to hear from. Who I hope can let bygones be bygones. Here's hoping anyway...

I discovered this via Kip on the Bomp refugee mailing today who posted their version of Freebird, I like this one better but thanks for the info...

RIP - Fraser Reid (info via John Miller)
An important note from Tom Phobic. If you can help with any of this contact him here.

You may have caught my earlier post that Mick sadly died recently. If so apologies for duplicity.

I'm trying to contact friends and people who knew him, or of him and asking them just to pass the word around.

For the record (and i know it's a common name too) this Mick started off in Wasted Youth (original london version- not to be confused with dodgy american heavy metal version).

The Bridge House forum are on the case with the east end connections, so big thanks to Terry Murphy and Lee for their input. After that he was in a band called October Revolution who played around the early to mid-80's. Then a few splinter projects here and there leading to The Famous Monsters with Giovanni Dadomo (RIP) me and a few others who already know. I can pick most of it up from there but am trying to get hold a few ex-Monsters who I don't have contacts for.

I will be visiting Mick's Mums today and if she has on old phone book then should be able to fill in more gaps. Here are some blanks - Paul Romane (harp player - lived in forest gate, had a pink cadillac if memory serves me right and a recording studio in his house)

Deptford Andy - rotund erstwhile drummer, but better known as roadie of legendary proportions friend of deptford andy another roadie too.

Our sax player Mike Harris I think.

Lou, Giovanni Dadomo's cousin who produced some of our demos.

Any help gratefully received. No funeral date yet, but will post here when known.



Here's some cool stuff for you crazy kooks around the world....




KILLER POOL! Watch some of the meanest pool playing guys n' gals bring the house down. Sign up 11:30pm, games begin at midnight.... mohahahaha.

Emma Vikingskull will be there 10pm - 4am spinning the greatest killer records you can imagine! Since the games are so and so legal... expect criminal tunes from heavy duty whackos! Bad News Becca behind the bar and as usual mechanic horse, pinball, run down bathrooms and free condoms will be present for whoever likes that kind of stuff. ALSO! 4 dollar Coney Island pints!!!! WHATTA DEAL!!! Ave A, btwn 2nd & Houston.


It's out all over Sweden. Git it!!!! Killer 6 page lowdown on Norton Records feat. full on interview with Norton bosses Billy & Miriam, great pictures now & then AND some cool comments from some of Sweden's coolest rock'n'rollers.... ALSO: Great NY travel guide and cool blurbs on great NY bands like Stalkers and Ex-Humans.


Apparently iconic freak Kim Fowley is playing some groovy stuff Saturday, Oct 12th. It's come to my attention that he'll be blasting off some cool intros and rockers off new Norton Records release Mad Mike Monsters... 3 volumes out on CD and LP
. The show will be archived, but it goes of on satellite sirus radio noon-4pm E.T:


THE JADEWALKERS EP, produced by Ivan Julian (of Voidoids fame) is still available.
Get it! We're running out!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Louie Louie time!

Never saw this at the time, but here's a cool interview with Lou Reed from Dutch TV: Part 1 and 2. As it is, this is a perfect example of how rock legends are treated over here...
Hey you, yeah you, with one of those iPod things or whatever.

You need good tunes to put on there right?

Well stick the new single by Matt and Kim in your digital pipe and smoke it.

Entitled "Daylight", you can score it here.
I know. I should have been cramming album reviews. However, watching the first three episodes of the final season of The Wire before I have to send them back had to be done. There's a lot to take in. Things are ramping up but you won't be getting any spoilers here. Mind you, I don't like the way McNulty is treating Beady but oh yeah, it's just a TV show...

I need to keep telling myself that. See you at "That Sinking Feeling" I hope.
Entering the Swedish album charts on the same week as HS, that Fatboy twang has obviously hit the spot there. Imagine The Mavericks as realised by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. There's an inherent glamour and old-fashioned showbiz, not to mention jazz chops in this 'billy. Chris Isaak is another name that's brought up in conjunction with this Stockholm monster. It's all valid. This is the sound of a big band playing in a lush ballroom in front of the deepest blood red velvet backdrop. Trad by nature but sounding not a jot backdated, these are entertainers with a "fuck you" attitude to their chosen forte. They're doing what feels right and if the requisite goosebumps don't come a-knockin', then that's altogether your problem.

If you miss the oeuvre of Roy Orbison then what these guys do is probably closer to that than we should expect in 2008. Thomas Paregis' voice is uncannily similar to that of the Big O and they've drafted a wealth of guest stars in too, including the Baskery girls.

There's a great, practically orchestral live feel to these recordings. Each of the 11 songs swing outwith the realms of pastiche. "Down At The Room" is undoubtedly the place to be and this music is evidently imprinted in the dna of each and every man in the group. "In Their Bones" might have been a better title but who's quibbling.
Via a Mike Fornatale tip on the Bomp Refugee Mailer...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here’s Brother Patrick’s angle on the brand spanking new Chris Wilson and his Shameless Pickups album, “Second Life”. The review was done in one take, no overdubs, so run with it OK?

"Second Life" kicks off with the high energy, should be all over the radio (if there still was such a thing) “All The Action” followed by “Shake That Feeling”, the end of which sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral.

(A wee bit of the William Burroughs cut up going on with those titles there I think Patrick… LH)

“Sweet Deceit” establishes a kind of ”Harlem Nocturne” mood. It’s a beautiful mid tempo number with great sax parts like Mink DeVille circa “Return To Magenta”. An irresistible slice of soul. “Set Free” has an “all along the watchtower” intro and soon turns into something that sounds like the Barracudas at their very best.

“Never Love Again” is a re-recording of the poignant ballad from Chris’s 1993 LP with the Sneetches. “Blaze Away” is another anthem and that’s followed by a cool country tune called, “Rise”. The title cut is a very appropriate and hopeful title. I’d swear I hear real violins as it evokes a tragic mood like a cool Shangri-Las song.

“Under The Power Lines” takes us down a Memphis blues route and “Visions Of Johanna” is the only cover version. “While There’s Life” will slap your callow cheeks, make you weep and set you up for the next set of songs that are coming your way soon.

The stylish cover photo action by Ann'Arbor perfectly reflects the music which is a welcome antidote to those records that promise but never deliver. Chris and co have created some good vibes here (big kudos to Anthony who wrote many of these songs). It’s a real 'aftermath', as good and varied as “Exile On Main Street”.

No matter how many lives you’ve had, this could change your present course…

Book yourself a "Second Life" right here!
KP on Montrose! It drove me to YouTube to try and find a clip but to no avail. Dammit.

Friday, October 10, 2008

As doom, despondency and a couple of their mates line up to spice up our lives a bit, there's a reasonable degree of buoyancy here. And I'm not talking about that pop singer either. Our visitor figures are up a wee bit too. Can it really be a week since Sidecar? Apparently so.

Thought about walking into town but it's absolutely pissing down. It's Friday night and I need to take stock of what needs doing. Of course I'd rather still be in Spain. The Funtastic Dracula shindig will be in full swing and by all accounts, some surprises are in store.

Other than seeing "That Sinking Feeling" on Sunday, I'll be sticking close to the midden heid so all going to plan there'll be something to read appearing here from time to time.

Kick off as you mean to go on with the Prissteens clips posted on North Fork Sound on October 4th.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The upcoming Hello Saferide shows in the US are as follows:

October 20th - House of Sweden, Washington (with Firefox AK)

October 22nd - The Bowery Electric, New York (with Firefox AK and Juvelen)

October 25th - The Bellhouse, Brooklyn, NY (with Blackstrap and the Seabellies)

Firefox AK remix of "Anna" here...

That's it for tonight, there are episodes of The Wire to be watched.

Mucho catching up to do over the weekend... it'll (hopefully) be here before we realise.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

RIP - Toto 'Knuckles' McNaughton

(info courtesy of Lenny Helsing: " I've just heard that the legendary Edinburgh drummer, Toto 'Knuckles' McNaughton of '60s R&Beatsters THE BOSTON DEXTERS... and later TOTO & THE JAZZ BOSTONS died the other day. He'll be cremated today at the town's Warriston Crematorium...just thought some NBT'ers may wanna know...)

RIP - Lloyd Thaxton (info courtesy of Larry Shell)

RIP - Mick Aktins (ex-Wasted Youth, Famous Monsters, etc.) (info courtesy of Tom Phobic)

That's it for tonight. Just about to start Season 5 of The Wire. I think there's enogh to be going on with though...
So let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah, Barcelona… intensive S&LQ rehearsals meant that the next time we’d see J & S would be at Sidecar. I was keen to see this place because Ben Vaughn played there just a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I know that a lot of you are interested in this bikini eating action so we have to rewind to being at the beach on Thursday (2nd). I didn’t know that you could actually walk to the sea from the city and it was a whopping 27 degrees down there at one point. So the natural thing to do is get into the shade in a café and soak up the ambience.

I’d seen “bikini” on the menu in various places but never put two and two together to make the requisite four until that point so I ordered one. Thinking it was like one of those terrible places where you get to choose a live lobster or fish or something (I don’t do seafood), I’d seen one or two passing that I definitely liked. But did I get to choose, did I heck as like. No chums, and here’s where the big dissy comes in, a “bikini” is a toasted cheese sandwich, cut diagonally to make it beachwear shaped. And this one was pretty teeny weeny, I can tell you.

Friday was a bit touristy, forsaking another rattle around the record stores for a trip up to the castle on foot and by cablecar and then down over the dock area from there, back to the beach. And then “home” to pick up the gear for my first dj set in many, many moons. I have to say that I was more than a little nervous and that could have translated into cackhandedness but it didn’t. So this was the weekend that Suzy & Los Quattro would play their 100th and 101st shows consecutively. They had Tim Cross come out from Blighty too in order that they could properly celebrate the release of “Stick With It”, resplendent with keyboards.

They put a lot of work into making these events somewhat special and it was an honour and three-quattros to be included. I am spiritually indebted to these kids for re-introducing me to the concept that rock (‘n’roll) is not dead, certainly not in their country. I keep reading that Barcelona wasn’t a r’n’r town but if anybody thinks that then they need to hit up a few of the bigger cities here. Then you’d know what the stench of undernourished music really niffs like. We pontificated amongst ourselves with regard to what might be responsible. Most likely that the “freedom” aspect is relatively new having only come in 1980. It’s a rocket up the arse to a jaded old twonk like me that it doesn’t actually have to be like it is here. At this point I’m thinking, I want to live 6 months here and 6 months in Stockholm.

After November, Europeans could well not be welcome in the USA anyway, depending on what goes down with the extended season finale of The West Wing and the arse that could be potentially made with regard to the “rescue package”. Anyway, back to the positive (at this point you’re checking who wrote this, right?) So the beers were going down a treat, as were the jagermeister shots. I don’t normally indulge in this kind of business but when in Barcelona and all that. It reminded me of being in NY during the 80’s and hitting the bars with the Elektra posse. So perhaps that calmed the nerves a bit.

Opening act, The MovieMakers were playing their first ever show with this line up. I imagine they were nervous too and I was wishing that they’d opened for The Dictators two nights before. Actually the Quattros should have had that spot when all is said and done. They would have complemented one another perfectly. The act that did do it played too long and was fundamentally awful. The MovieMakers played it short and sharp. Reminding me of a lot of things but not actually sounding like any of them. They left the people wanting more, how often does that happen? Let’s watch them go.

I should add at this point that joining us was Mr Clive Gilling from The Surfin' Lungs. No stranger to this fine Catalonian city. His is another group that enjoys an affinity with Spanish audiences, and Italy also - where they're bound next month.

Time for Suzy and Co. and this was my first taste of the new line up. Joey Q reminds me of the late, great James Darroch of The Eastern Dark both visually and stylewise. He doesn’t dress like a beach bum though, certainly not at showtime. Yuri Quattro is as clean and precise a drummer as you’ll find this side of Clem Burke. He propels the material in conjunction with musical director BB Quattro at a finite velocity. The lady herself frugs, shimmies and sticks out her tongue not necessarily in that order. She also belts out all these great tunes the band has in their armoury. I couldn’t really hear the keyboards other than at a couple of points near the stage. As it turns out they couldn’t hear anything onstage so for it to sound as good as it did out on the floor was a karmic result.

The distinction between djing and playing records and that of writing and being a journalist is a broad church. I've been in places where alleged djs are essentially deaf and unable to cue anything. I've also been in places where people are curating the music in the way that Andy Dunkley did.

Neither of these should be confused with the principle of clearing a room. One of the coolest things I ever heard or witnessed was when Mr U played Peter Brotzman's Machine Gun at shredding volume, driving the inhbitants out of the immediate area. If that's the intention then good, but don't you go to places where the music sucks and wonder what the fuck is going on?

The people who took over from me in both cities had a real flair for tempo. I couldn't mix anything to save my life but I can set up a string of knockout songs or whatever you want to call them. I had Adiam dymott running into Matt and Kim into Screeching Weasel into The Nomads into The Dictators. And people danced! Some folks asked for stuff I didn't have and wouldn't have. One guy asked for Midnight Oil. I did wish that I had Cheap Trick's "Surrender" and Tracy Ullman's "Breakaway" though and that there is the learning curve.

I guess we stayed maybe a half hour or so after the Sidecar set. A lot of nice people came up and said "hi" and asked what stuff was and just generally made me feel very welcome. It felt like some kind of triumph but most importantly, it was seriously great fun.

It was “too late” (now that’s a familiar song title – let’s have a wee think…?) for any Barbara Ann action because Madrid beckoned the next morning. Jeroen and Stefan were going to their respective countries that evening but the hardcore got in the van. It was a great experience to be taken across country like this, seeing areas that looked like the north of Scotland and also those that bore a resemblance to the moon. Stopping off at a cool roadhouse called Restaurante San Cristobal for some sustenance in the form of chorizo, egg and chips. Lovely jubbly, as they say in the England.

We made it to the Madrid city limits and the Stone Temple Pilots cd was jettisoned in preference to a kids show that prompted much Quattro participation. I wish I had an audio of that because it was priceless. In addition, The new YumYums album (more of which another day) seemed like much better mood music. Chewing bubblegum and kicking ass is a worthy sentiment, irrespective of order.

Madrid was pretty much as I remembered it. The busiest, most full-on place I’ve ever visited. We made it to the Wurlitzer Ballroom, loaded in and the kids set up while Clive and I set out for the billet. A quick freshen up and I was back on the streets heading for the gig. Just as I got there, a very cool-looking girl asked me if this was The Wurlitzer. I was able to confirm that it was indeed and we made our way inside. The band was finishing soundcheck. It felt way better than the previous night even without bodies. Loud but clear and The Q’s seemed happy. Some people had made a long journey to meet up with Tim and at the end of the s/c he played a wee bit “Mike Oldfield” for them. It was odd but possibly related to the way J, S and I felt when The Dictators were ripping down the Minnesota Strip back in Barcelona.

The bar closed for an hour and that gave me a chance to meet up with Simon Birrell who has been living out there for a while now. If you didn’t check out his short film “His Last Request” then you need to do so. It’s a beautiful looking piece in sumptious monochrome. Supped a quick Guinness and went back for showtime. I was introduced to my workspace and got to laying down the vibe for my gracious hosts. It’s all a little humbling to be honest. To be given this kind of opportunity to play good music to cool people. Every kind of people too, not just a single demographic.

The Quattros knocked us out. They could obviously hear what was going on and were all the happier for it. You’d hardly think they’d spent all day travelling when they exploded onstage. There are so many potential avenues that they could take and I think that the upcoming visit to Japan will give the folks there something to believe in, some good old, well-dressed, pop-drenched glamour to keep reality at bay. I even managed to try out a few of my unique (read: bad) dance moves with the lady that I came in with earlier. There might be a handful of places in the UK that could even come close. The Dirty Water, some places in Brighton, club nights by certain parties in Glasgow or wherever but not with this electricity.

I always err on the worried side but played music for nearly 4 hours, maybe more. I was running out of sonic gas by the end but it seemed to go over pretty well. I’d switched to water by that time because the “Mahou” (cheers Simon) was going down just a little too smoothly. And there was travelling to be done the next day. Young people here would never take their grandparents to the rock club, I think I’d like to retire there. Tim and Clive got in a taxi and headed for the airport and we headed back to the hostal. There were Chinese people selling beers and mars bars and other stuff. But their main trade was in unlicensed hot food. I couldn’t get my head around it. A very shifty enterprise. I asked Jonathan if there was a name (possibly derogatory) for this practice and he told me they call them “The Chinese”. Now that’s what I call funny.

So that’s about it, I was dropped at the airport as the band made their way back to Barcelona. It was pretty much downhill from there. Flight delays on the way back seem to be a regular malaise and by the time I got back to Edinburgh, the temperature had plummeted. It was too late to do anything other than pick up a haggis supper…

I had a ball and would like to thank all concerned. Unfortunately I never caught up with my Munster friends in Madrid but one postscript to all this is that I didn’t catch the name of that delectable young lady that was at the gig. Via the wonders of Quattro-Communications International and the good offices of its president, Colonel Vidal – she has been identified as Ms Eli Ramos, a real sweetheart. Dig these S&LQ photos that she took last Saturday night and check out her myspace.

That’s about your lot, I guess there’s stuff that hasn’t percolated back to the surface so if it does and it seems relevant then who knows… I just wish I were still there. Who wouldn’t?

Eternal gracias to Jonathan and Suzy for making this happen.
Also to Joey and Yuri Q.
S&LQ photos courtesy of Ms Eli Ramos

Andy, Scott, Richard, Ross and JP – you rule!

Sylvia Sans – nice to meet you – all too brief.

Simon – thanks for taking time out to come on down.

Clive and Tim – good to hang with you guys.

Santi and the guys at The Wurlitzer Ballroom

Nacho Ruiz @ Sidecar

Dos Amigos – Vedder Conrad Associates

Barbara Ann – A local to die for in the magnitude of Manitoba’s or The Lakeside Lounge

And everyone else for making an old guy so welcome… Goodnight Espana, I hope to be seeing you again…